IT’S TIME TO BE A SPORT
After Dangal and the MS Dhoni biopic, almost a dozen sports-based films are under production
Last year, the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, based on wrestlers Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat’s real-life stories, went on to become Bollywood’s biggest blockbuster. Apart from Dangal, 2016 saw over half-a-dozen films being made on various sports or sports personalities. Historically, Bollywood hasn’t been very high on sports-based films but now, Hindi cinema seems to have woken up to the power of the adrenaline rush that comes with sports-based films. So, while Shraddha Kapoor is set to portray badminton star Saina Nehwal on screen, Sonu Sood is producing a film on ace shuttler PV Sindhu.
“Like love, I feel sports is a universal emotion, which is above hatred, politics or any kind of boundaries. So, everyone can relate to it universally. Sports-based films are extremely inspiring and uplifting. They always raise your spirits and you come out feeling victorious (from the cinema),” says Ali Abbas Zafar, maker of Sultan (2016).
More sports-based films are under way. Apparently, actorsinger Diljit Dosanjh will play India’s former hockey captain, Sandeep Singh, while a bilingual (Hindi and Telugu) film on ace badminton player Pullela Gopichand is also under development. A film on the Indian cricket team’s historic win at the 1983 World Cup is in the pipeline, and Akshay Kumar has already started shooting for Gold, which is about India’s first Olympic medal win as a free nation in the year 1948.
Additionally, Anurag Kashyap is set to make Mukkabaz, as Farhan Akhtar gears up to work with Mohit Suri in a film that has boxing as its backdrop. Hrithik Roshan is also believed to have given his nod for a film that will have him play a kabaddi player. And veteran director Shyam Benegal is likely to helm a film on iconic wrestler KD Jadhav.
“It’s a great idea to honour our real-life heroes with such films, instead of just focusing on mindless comedies and run-of-the-mill love stories. Also, underdog stories fascinate you, as you’re always rooting for them,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Like love, sports is also a universal emotion, above hatred, politics or boundaries. So, everyone can relate to it ALI ABBAS ZAFAR, FILMMAKER
Saina Nehwal Kapil Dev (right) and Mohinder Amarnath with the cricket World Cup in 1983